Analysis

Cuthbert: These are the nights you dream of

Erin Cuthbert revealed a tactical change at half-time made the difference in Wednesday’s Champions League victory against Juventus.

Cuthbert netted her second goal of the season on the half-hour mark to give the Blues a 1-0 lead at the Allianz Stadium, but the hosts pulled themselves level six minutes later through Barbara Bonansea.

Chelsea boss Hayes made a switch from a defensive three with wing-backs to a back-four and it made an impact with Pernille Harder scoring the winner with 20 minutes remaining.

Cuthbert highlighted the importance of adapting to different playing styles in order to get results against top European sides.

‘We managed to pressure on the ball a little bit more,’ she said. ‘We got a bit higher, the spaces between the lines were too big and that’s something that we wanted to address.

‘We done it at half-time, their movement was very good, so we had to change something and the little adjustment we made really helped us.

‘At this level, teams are really good, so we have to keep adjusting and keep adapting our game, so we’ll be working on that in training.’

Cuthbert has seen the benefit from an injury-free pre-season with the Blues and the Scot certainly took her opportunity with a stunning opener in Turin.

She added: ‘I remember Pernille passing to me, she switched the play and I’ve got in front of the left-back with my first touch. I’ve started driving in and the space started to open up. Someone made a good run to clear the space for me to keep running, I dipped my shoulder pretending I was going to pass and the whole pitch opened up for me.

‘I felt like I had so much time and sometimes that’s a danger in football when you have so much time but it’s on my left foot, I’ve got to hit it and luckily I got it right in the corner, it’s gone in and we are 1-0 up.

‘At times, we were caught quite low, especially myself, adapting to a new role I felt I got caught quite low because their winger was really high.

‘They pinned me back a lot but when I got my chance to go forward, you have to take it. It’s about small moments in the game and we’ve managed to do that with myself and Pernille [Harder] so we are delighted on the night to win.’

The official attendance at the Allianz Stadium was 16,781 and Cuthbert touched on the special feeling that comes with European nights.

‘It felt like the Champions League. The music, the fans, this is the game that every footballer wants to play in. These are the nights you dream of.

‘The atmosphere was amazing, and this is what we live for in football. This is why we go to work. This is what we want to play in, so we are delighted to come away with the three points and have four points in the group so far.’

Cuthbert along with a host of her team-mates will now head off on international duty before returning to Chelsea ahead of our FA Cup semi-final clash away at Manchester City on Sunday 31 October. This match will be broadcast live on BBC One with a 12.45pm (UK time) kick off.

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